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When it comes to their feelings on mainstream media, Gen Z’s over it. Research shows traditional media brands aren’t catching on with Gen Z, but it doesn’t mean young people don’t care about the news. Almost 4 out of 5 teens say it’s important to them to follow current events. Why the disconnect? Most traditional outlets are still waiting for Gen Z to come to them. Half of Gen Z use social media for their news, with Instagram being the leading destination for all things political. Video dominates, with the average young person spending 3.4 hours watching videos every day on platforms like YouTube. Yet the majority of legacy outlets distribute news through television and radio, often putting their social media energy into platforms like Facebook, which Gen Z is also over.
A few mainstream outlets and brands have made strides to keep up with the first digitally native generation. NBC’s Snapchat news show “Stay Tuned” brings in 20-30M unique views per month, most from 16-19 year olds; and also adapts content to YouTube and TikTok. Cosmopolitan was another early adopter of the Snapchat strategy in 2015, which paid off in 3M daily readers.
And then there’s young people taking reporting into their own hands. Take the Cramm, a news source created by 15-year-old Olivia Seltzer and other teenagers and disseminated via email and text. Or 16-year-old Sofia Frazer’s Instagram account @dailydoseofwokeness that’s over 30,000 followers strong.